MULTI-million-pound plans to revolutionise healthcare in Andover have been unveiled exclusively to the Advertiser.

Proposals have been developed to create an urgent treatment centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital, as well as a new health and wellbeing hub in the town, in a bid to provide more “joined up services” and ensure “care is closer to people’s homes”.

The urgent treatment centre could be open by July 1 next year and will bring together the existing minor injuries unit, extended access GP hub and out-of-hours service under one roof at the hospital.

West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said the service will be GP-led but will house nurses, clinicians and therapists to offer treatment for a range of minor illnesses and injuries, using existing buildings at the hospital.

Along with simpler urgent care services, it is hoped patients will be able to benefit from more out-of-hours doctor and nurse appointments during weekday evenings, which are currently only available at weekends.

The CCG’s plans to improve care in the town could also see the development of a health and wellbeing hub to bring together some of the town’s GP practices under one roof as well as other health and care services.

The hub will be funded from a successful bid by the CCG to NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund to meet the needs of Andover’s growing population.

The hub plans are still being drawn-up, but it is expected that it will improve availability to GP services and wider community and hospital care services.

CCG chairman Dr Sarah Schofield said: “These are really exciting plans for Andover and local people.

“We are looking forward to working with local GPs and other colleagues from hospitals, councils and voluntary services to bring these plans to life.”

The announcement has been welcomed by civic chiefs, who have said that it will enhance healthcare for the town’s residents.

MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse said: “The urgent treatment centre at the War Memorial Hospital is fantastic news for Andover and shows that the government is investing in the NHS.

“The local NHS’s vision looks to get the most of the services we have and with this investment patients will be able to access evening and weekend GP services and a full range of minor injury and minor illness support.

“Integration of services should help keep people out of hospital if they can looked after better elsewhere and keep pressure off the wards.”

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “This is great news for the local community. We know from speaking with our residents that having access to good quality healthcare is one of their main priorities.

“Eliminating lengthy travel times when you require urgent treatment is invaluable. We also know from our own experience that bringing together a variety of services under one roof provides a far better experience for the public.

“I am delighted that our NHS colleagues recognise the importance of delivering such services in Andover and look forward to seeing their plans take shape.”